Posted by: Concerned aunty | 2013/01/15

2 year old sees things

My two year old niece seems to be afraid of her own home, especially her bedroom. When she visits she tells me she does not want to go home and she says she is scared. None of us have given her any reason to think of horrible monsters nor have we told her anything that would scare her.

We do not ask her about this in case she wants attention from it. She is petrified if you open her cupboard door. She tells you to not go in there.

What could be causing this? I have not seen ghosts but could there be a spirit living there?

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Our expert says:
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Lets here from other, experienced moms, here. Its really common around this age and older, for children to develop fears of the dark and of going to sleep alone, often expressing fears of monsters or bad people who might harm them. When you describe her as frightened that you open a particular cupboard door, and warns you, fits perfectly with this. Fortunately this is within the normal range of chioldren's behaviour, and there isn't the faintest chance that there are ghosts or spirits involved.
This is often a passing phase, and it can help to use loads of confident re-assurance, a night-light ( a dim light in her room that doesn't produce scary shadows and shows there's nothing nasty lurking there ; maybe in the daylight show that there's nothing in the cupboard, and discuss with her if she'd feel safer if it were left open so nothing could hide there, or if it was locked so nothing could get in or out.
A quick fix can be to allow her to sleep, if possible in her own bed, in her parents room for a few days - the problem then can become persuading her to return to her own room !

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Our users say:
Posted by: PUrple | 2013/01/16

Pretty much all children go through this.

Its helpful to ask her exactly what scares her about that cupboard - ask her to show you when she is in there, bearing in mind she may not have the vocabulary to express it fully. Try explaining to her what it is in reality, but fears ''don''t always respond to rational explanation. Don''t laugh or mock her fears - to her they are very real. Comfort and reassurance help.

A night light that can be left on, lying with her till she falls asleep and a special teddy bear to sleep with are usually helpful. Also a torch that shines brightly that she can shine at the spot if needed and a " monster kit"  - a little bag with a spray bottle of water to spray at monsters and scary things, some air freshener to use to attract angels for protection and that sort of thing is quite helpful at this age. Knowing her parents will come or that she can go to their room for comfort when she is afraid is also very helpful.

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Posted by: Phil | 2013/01/16

I have lived in my house for many many years. One of my kids when they were small  talked about an old lady in the one bedroom. This stopped when they got bigger. We have however been told by another source  that there definately is an old lady...
My kids are much older now  and they don''t see this no more. And we have never been concerned  since it''s seems to be a very peacefull experince or whatever you wanna call it.
Not much help... But yes  I believe in ghosts....

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Anon | 2013/01/15

I''ve never really believed in ghosts, would prefer to hope that our relatives aren''t simply floating around after passing! But if there really was such a thing I would think the whole family would atleast notice something odd.
Are there other kids that could''ve scared her stories or maybe she just saw an add on the tv with something spooky in it?

Even if you don''t want to give her too much attention over it, it might be worth atleast trying to find out what exactly is scaring her, is it a monster or an animal or a person, try get her to explain what she sees there?

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